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Theresa May's immigration policy is finally unravelling

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If there is one stance that defines Theresa May, it is her hostility to immigration. The Prime Minister has equivocated and hedged in other areas, but she has remained resolute in her desire to curb newcomers.

Throughout May’s six-year tenure at the Home Office, immigration policy was remorselessly tightened. When she became Prime Minister in 2016, she doubled-down: defending an arbitrary net migration target that had never been met (owing to free movement from the EU). Such was May’s absolutism that she refused to even exempt foreign students (who most voters do not consider to be immigrants) from the “tens of thousands” limit.

To her cost, Amber Rudd, May’s successor, failed to reform immigration policy (most notoriously, the “hostile........

© New Statesman